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Old Plunket Rooms restoration

By UCOL on Wednesday, 08 May 2019

A photograph of the King Street Plunket Rooms taken in 1950. This building is part of UCOL's campus. Image is courtesy of Palmerston North City Council/Manawatu Heritage.

UCOL is looking into restoring the old Plunket Rooms building on King Street, Palmerston North, and renovating it into a Student Support Hub.

UCOL this week made a submission to Palmerston North City Council requesting that King Street be included in its City Centre Streetscape Redesign Plan, which would include the Council helping fund the restoration of the old Plunket Rooms.

The Plunket Rooms building, designed by architect Ernst West, was officially opened in 1929. Manawatū Polytechnic bought the building from Plunket in 1997.

The building was last occupied by UCOL’s Student Health Centre until it was vacated in 2012 due to earthquake strengthening requirements.  

The building will be earthquake strengthened and renovated. The intention is to create a Student Support Hub for UCOL and other services related to student welfare, employment, and international student needs.  

UCOL Chief Financial Officer Brian Trott says the iconic single-story brick building is a good example of architecture from the time, and has historical significance to Palmerston North. 

“UCOL values its educational history and also recognises the significance of the Plunket Rooms to the historical value and sentiment of Palmerston North. UCOL plans to restore the building so that it becomes a vital part of the campus and a local heritage icon for the community.”

UCOL and PNCC previously partnered together as part of streetscaping in the city to redevelop Queen Street and create a vibrant community feel. This included Bachelor of Creative Media student Jason Gardner designing road art for the raised crossing areas.


Pictured above: A photograph of the King Street Plunket Rooms taken in 1950. The image is courtesy of Palmerston North City Library/Manawatū Heritage.